Atheists Demand Removal of War Memorial with Hidden Ichthus
Update: The Boone County Commission voted to move and replace the memorial.
Can you see what atheists find offensive about this war memorial to fallen troops?
Behind the dedication plaque at the bottom of the stone is an ichthus.
And that’s why these atheists say it has to go.
The grounds of the Boone County Courthouse in Missouri are host to memorials to local citizens killed in action while fighting for their country. After a threat from atheists, one of those memorials may have to move. The memorial was raised in 1992 for two locals killed in Operation Desert Storm: Steven Farnen and Patrick Connor. It recently came under attack by atheists, and the County Commission is considering a proposal to move it to a cemetery — away from the courthouse grounds, and away from the memorials for all the other fallen citizens:
The focus of the proposal, and the yearlong controversy surrounding the memorial, was an ichthus, or “Jesus fish,” the commission decided to cover last June rather than face possible legal action from a Washington, D.C.-based organization.
Neither of the families wants the memorial moved, and both even agreed to a plan to keep the ichthus covered to let it stay.
But for the militant atheists, even though the “Jesus fish” is covered, the memorial is still offensive:
Greg Lammers of Columbia, a national affiliate director for American Atheists, said the ichthus gives official status to the Christian faith and excludes other faiths. If the symbol is allowed to remain on the memorial, Lammers said, it will “drive wedges through a community.”
It would seem Lammers, not a covered symbol, is driving the wedge.
The commission is scheduled to vote tomorrow on whether to move the memorial.
The memorial is but one of many across the country under attack by atheists and anti-theists who are offended by any semblance of religious imagery in the public square — apparently even when those symbols aren’t even visible in the public square.